Ukraine is eyeing next year for the country’s accession to North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Defence Minister Oleskii Reznikov said, CNN reported.
Talking about the next year’s NATO Summit in Washington, Reznikov said, “Who knows, maybe it will be a very important day for Ukraine,” adding “It is just my forecast.” During the interview, Reznikov acknowledged that Ukraine will only be able to join the alliance once the war is over, referencing Article 5 and saying “We have no options to have a unanimous vote” while the conflict is ongoing.
When asked if he thought the war would be over by next summer he quickly answered, “Yes. We will win this war.”
Reznikov downplayed the Biden administration’s refusal to commit to Ukraine getting admitted immediately after the war’s end.
“I think it’s not necessary,” he said. Ukraine will have a streamlined admission process and in the meantime will continue to work on the necessary reforms, Reznikov added. The defence minister emphasized that the benefits of admitting Ukraine to the alliance have only grown given its fight against Russia, as per CNN.
The United States and other NATO countries have said it is impossible to admit Ukraine now because of the ongoing war. Early this month, US President Joe Biden said that he doesn’t think Ukraine is ready for NATO membership and added that NATO is a process that takes some time to meet all qualifications, from democratization to a whole range of other issues.
“I don’t think it (Ukraine) is ready for membership in NATO,” the US President said in an interview when asked about Ukraine’s NATO membership, reported CNN.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that he held a phone conversation with NATO Secretary General Jen Stoltenberg on “unblocking” the Black Sea grain corridor.
This phone call came on the heels of Russia calling off the crucial deal to ensure the safe passage of ships.
“Had a phone conversation with NATO Secretary General @jensstoltenberg. We discussed the implementation of the agreements reached during the Vilnius summit and further actions regarding the integration of Ukraine into @NATO,” tweeted Zelenskyy.
His tweet continued, “We shared assessments of the current situation in the Black Sea and the risks it poses for global food security. We also identified with Mr Stoltenberg the priority and future steps necessary for unblocking and sustainable operation of the Black Sea grain corridor.”
This came after Russia announced it was suspending its participation in a UN-brokered deal that allowed the export of Ukrainian grain.